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Claire is only seven years old when her college-age sister, Alison, vanishes from the luxury resort on the Caribbean island of Saint X on the last night of her family’s vacation. Several days later Alison’s naked body is found in a remote spot on a nearby cay, and two local men, employees at the resort, are arrested. But the evidence is slim, the time line against it, and the men are soon released. It’s national tabloid news, a lurid mystery that will go unsolved, but for Claire’s family there is only the sad return home to broken lives.
Years later, riding in a New York City taxicab, Claire recognises the name on the cabbie’s licence, Clive Richardson - her driver is one of the men originally suspected of murdering her sister. The fateful encounter sets her on an obsessive pursuit of the truth, not only what happened on the night of Alison’s death but the no less elusive question of exactly who was this sister she was barely old enough to know: a beautiful, changeable, provocative girl of 18 at a turbulent moment of identity formation. As Claire doggedly shadows Clive, hoping to gain his trust, waiting for the slip that will uncover the truth, an unlikely intimacy develops between them, two people whose lives were forever marked by a tragedy.
Alexis Schaitkin's Saint X is a flawlessly drawn and deeply moving story that hurtles to a devastating end.